Could your replaced airbag be counterfeit? - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Could your replaced airbag be counterfeit?

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PHOENIX -

This warning could affect your safety on the road. A North Carolina auto repair shop owner has been arrested for using counterfeit airbags, and investigators believe he's not alone.

In fact, there could be thousands of cars on the road with faulty airbags.

The government is not issuing a mandatory recall of cars due to those counterfeit airbags being found on thousands of cars -- but urging drivers to get theirs checked out if they have had them replaced in the last three years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released videos showing tests done on these fake bags -- believed to be made in China and authentic-looking with manufacturer's logos -- but don't perform like they're supposed to.

This warning affects a small percentage of drivers. Less than one tenth of one percent of vehicles on the road are believed to have these counterfeit airbags -- but that's still thousands of people with airbags that could fail to inflate, or possibly shower drivers with shards of metal shrapnel on impact.

Immigration officials are taking the lead in trying to stop the illegal sales.

"If they can counterfeit it they will and they do," says ICE director John Morton.

If you had your airbag replaced at a dealership you should be fine, but if you had the work done at an auto repair shop or bought a used car that had a bag replaced, you could be in trouble.

"This is literally an assault on U.S. Industry. Everything that can be made or manufactured can be counterfeit, and if you can sell it for profit the criminals will do that and there's no reason why counterfeiters would focus on one particular brand or one type of airbag," says Morton.

At least one man living in North Carolina has been arrested in connection to a counterfeit airbag.

Igor Borodin is not a US citizen. He's from Eastern Europe and he's being held without bond.

Well over 100 models from dozens of manufacturers could be affected by the bogus air bags.

It will cost around $100 to find out if you have a phony airbag and have it replaced.

Online: www.safercar.gov

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